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Pump House To Water Tank
By Edwin R (Ned) Weeber
Milestones Vol 23 No 1 Spring 1998

Many of the older (and not so old) residents will recall the "Pump House" near the bottom of the now abandoned Patterson Heights Hill (commonly called "Country Club Hill") and the painted "Blue" water tank located near the old Beegle estate (currently Franciscan Fathers) on Darlington Road. The tank was located on the ridge overlooking the Brady's Run Valley.

The ruins or foundation walls of the pump house and the concrete supporting structure of the water tank still exist to this day. The abandoned pump house was razed about a dozen years ago for safety concerns and the tank on the tower was removed many years ago. The remaining concrete support structure for the water tank is approximately forty feet high.

The function of the pump house, as the name implies, was to pump "filtered" water produced by the Beaver Valley Water Company to the water tank for storage and ultimate use by the homes in the area.

According to a history of the Beaver Valley Water Company by a Mr. H. B. Chandley, manager of the facility early in this century, Patterson Heights was first provided with a filtered water on June 5, 1902. A portion of this now abandoned water line is now exposed where it crossed the storm water ditch adjacent to the old Patterson Heights Incline right-of-way at a point just north of the writer's property. Over recent years the volume of storm water coursing down the ravine has unearthed this old water line.

A picture of the original pump house is shown as illustration No. 221 in Volume I of the Beaver County Album (1975) edited by Arnold B. McMahon and Denver L Walton.

A date of 1887 is faintly discernible on a length of the exposed cast iron pipe which could be the date of its manufacture as the water line was constructed not long afterwards.

An old Beaver Valley Water Company blueprint reveals the location of the water line. In the area where the water line crossed the storm water ditch, an exposed junction valve exists and one branch of this line turns due west. Another branch of the line reduced to 4" in diameter continues South and served the old Myer's estate at the eastern end of Patterson
Heights. The old Myer's homestead commonly referred to as "The Castle" was constructed during the late 1880's. The 6" west branch crossed underneath the now abandoned Patterson Heights Railway incline rightof-way through the currently wooded area near the current George Daquila, Jr. property, thence up Fifth Street and across Darlington Road to the now abandoned "Beegle" or "Brady's Run" Hill. Near the summit of that hill, the line turned in a southwestern direction to the water tank. The water company print indicates the door sill elevation of the pump house to be 801.37 feet and the bottom of the tank at 1122.27 feet, which resulted in a pumping height of over 320 feet in less than one mile distance.

It is believed that this was probably one of the earliest (if not the first) water company lines to service the Patterson Heights and Patterson Township areas. Prior to that time, water for homes and farms in the area was obtained from cisterns or wells.

It is not known when this water line was abandoned or the homes it serviced at that time, but today two large water tanks which service the entire area now stand just to the north of 16th Street and Darlington Road (near Steffen Hill) in Patterson Township.

We have come a long way from hauling water from cisterns and wells and the bucket brigades of fire departments. This old water line along with the ruins of the pump house and water tower now remain as mute evidence of the beginning of that change.